Russia and Serbia have signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear energy and a joint statement on strategic partnership for the construction of a centre of nuclear science, technology and innovation.
They were signed in Belgrade by Alexey Likhachov, director general of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, and Nenad Popovich, Serbian minister of innovation and technological development, during a ceremony also attended by the Russian and Serbia presidents, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Vucic.
“Today we are laying a solid foundation for the development of high technologies in Serbia for many years to come,” Popovich said. “Improving economic efficiency, developing agriculture, medicine, education and quality of life are difficult to imagine without the use of the peaceful atom. Signing the intergovernmental agreement marks the beginning of close and substantive cooperation in the field of innovation, digital, scientific and technical cooperation with our historical partner – Russia,” he added.
The intergovernmental agreement establishes a wide range of cooperation areas between the two countries, Rosatom said. These include, but are not limited to: assistance in the creation and improvement of nuclear energy infrastructure in Serbia; the design, construction and modernisation of nuclear research reactors; development of nuclear medicine; implementation of fundamental and applied research in the field of nuclear energy; innovations, new technologies and modern digital technologies in the field of nuclear energy; radiation technologies application in agriculture, industry; and education, training and retraining of specialists for the nuclear industry.
“Serbia has unique potential and experience in the development and use of nuclear technologies,” Likhachov said. “We have identified projects that will combine the human and technical competencies of Russia and Serbia. In particular, the implementation of a project to build a centre of nuclear science, technology and innovation will not only give a powerful impetus to bilateral cooperation between Russia and Serbia in a number of innovative areas, including medicine, industry and agriculture, but will also serve as a platform for cooperation at the level of the entire Central European region. Of course, all the projects will strictly comply with the highest standards of nuclear and radiation safety, taking into account the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the development of such norms and standards,” he added.
The intergovernmental agreement was signed as a follow-up to the joint statement on the principles of cooperation in the field of innovation and technological development in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, which was signed in May last year during the AtomExpo conference and exhibition in Sochi, Russia.